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Off-Off-Broadway's king goes Public
[ALL EDITIONS]
Newsday - Long Island, N.Y.
Author: By Patrick Pacheco
Date: Apr 6, 1986
Start Page: 15
Section: PART II
Abstract (Document Summary)

[Kevin Kline] and Patti LuPone were in [Jeff Weiss]' audiences when they were Juilliard students in the early '70s. Last year, Kline renewed the acquaintance when Weiss was starring in his play, "Convergent Lives," at the Limbo Lounge. Impressed with what Kline calls the actor's "intensity and daring," he suggested that "Hamlet" director Liviu Ciulei audition Weiss.

Weiss largely credits his success to [Carlos Ricardo Martinez], who helped him work on the voice many critics thought was the result of years of professional training. In fact, Weiss has never taken an acting class. As an actor, he thinks of himself as a blank slate upon which directors write. In one of his plays, a character says, "I don't know anything. I'm stupid. I'm an actor."

Weiss' Ghost, a manly and unusually earthly presence in the play, contrasts strikingly with the fey Osric. The courtier is often portrayed villainously in productions, but here he is a cheerful and sympathetic, if dizzy, presence. Weiss says the character is most like him personally, a person who wants everything to go right but who has certain predilections and appetites that prevent everything from turning out well.

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